American workers spent the first 231 days of this year toiling to pay off the costs of state, local, and federal governments, leaving just 4 1/2 months to provide for themselves and their families.
Each year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and its Center for Fiscal Accountability calculate the day on which average Americans have paid off their share of the cost of government spending and regulations. This year that day fell on Aug. 19, eight days later than last year and the latest Cost of Government Day ever recorded, according to Mattie Corrao, government affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform.
"The fact that Cost of Government Day falls in the later part of August is alarming enough. It is even more harrowing that the 2010 Cost of Government Day constitutes a 34-day jump from COGD just two short years ago, when it fell on July 16," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.
"This illustrates the ballooning growth of government, and should be of serious concern to taxpayers who are footing the ever-expanding bill."
The growing insolvency of state budgets, “coupled with exploding wages and benefits for government workers, continues to push the costs of state and local governments higher,” Corrao wrote for the Budget & Tax News website. “Across the nation, state taxes were raised by a net of $23.9 billion” in fiscal year 2010.
Between 1998 and 2008, the 10 states with the highest tax burdens — California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Ohio, Maryland, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania — lost more than 3 million residents, who took with them $92 billion in income.
During the same period, the nine states with no income tax — Florida, Nevada, Alaska, Texas, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Washington, South Dakota, and Wyoming — gained 2.3 million new residents and $92 billion in wealth.
Corrao concludes: “Public pay and benefits remain unsustainable in many states, and spending will have to be limited if these states are to compete for the best and most productive individuals.”